Experience Description

I was 16 years old. I remember walking to the car, but don't recall getting into it. We were, driving, about 10 minutes away from our destination, when the accident occurred.

Blackness for a flash, quickly there was white light, sound (hum), rushing (wind-like) - much faster than I would have guessed from reading other’s accounts of a tunnel, but that does describe it. Then, total darkness but not in the sense of a darkness that prevents the eyes from seeing, because we don't need eyes here. Darkness is just a word to describe the “void” (of possibility, lack of limitation, complete wholeness), where there is no need to see. I understand that all is well, and this is all far more real, beautiful, sensical and loving than the material world I had previously thought was “life”.

I know that it makes no difference whether I return to my body - this is where I distinguish myself in thought from the “natural wholeness”. There is a body and I briefly turn my attention consciously to the noise and activity going on below, where there are people scurrying around in states of extreme turmoil. I feel no attachment - even to my friends in the car - I never even wonder as to the extent of their injuries. I know there is an option - to just go on and not return.

When focusing on the question of returning or not, I separate from what I can now describe as “natural wholeness” or “sky-like essence” - this is when thinking starts in a language form - I begin to narrow, specify, limit focus to what can be understood within "normal" context. There is no value judgment or sense of purpose and I am not really sure why I decide to return - it is like I already understand, on a level that requires no dialogue, so I don’t need to go through the process of getting an explanation.

This occurs about the time they were putting me in the ambulance. Slowly I begin to associate with my body again and a few hours later, I am again interacting with it.

It was years later, after a lot of that silliness, that I calmed down enough to begin to make sense of it all.

Background Information:

Gender: Female

Date NDE Occurred: January 1985

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Accident not sure- unconscious from head trauma- certainly considered life threatening by police and emergency workers at the time I was thrown from the back seat of a VW bug, through its windshield as it crashed head-on at about 40 mph into a larger car. I was unconscious for several hours.

How do you consider the content of your experience? Positive

The experience included: Out of body experience

Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I was aware of being completely independent of form and I was able to "see" my body and the physical world when I wanted to, from about 10 feet above the ground.

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Physically, I was "unconscious" and I was not very concerned about what was going on with my body. I was aware of the emergency workers, and later hospital personnel, family, and friends, but they were not so important. I was very clear about things - the opposite of confusion. I was uninhibited by the physicality of what we might call “thought processes”, and possessed complete understanding.

Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning Not altered - but I did come to understand them more. Time is relative, space is infinite and more complex than our minds can imagine.

Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? I understood sound and noises, but I did not hear them - the only noise I seemed to hear in the sense that I normally hear was the swooshing when entering and leaving.

Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Uncertain More like escaping through a tunnel - like coming up from a deep dive in water but really, really fast and then something similar when returning, but more gradual and funnel-like - like floating down without boundaries.

Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No There were no forms or separations making beings, but I was not alone because I was one with all. I felt no presence of relatives that had passed away or of a God, but I was not separate from them. I knew that if I had needed anything - concept, form, and communication - it could be mine to experience, but there was no need.

The experience included: Void

The experience included: Darkness

The experience included: Light

Did you see an unearthly light? Yes White associated with the tunnel thing. Black associated with myself without form. Deep blue associated with the oneness. All colors (rainbow) were here if called upon to be.

What emotions did you feel during the experience? Calm, neither happiness nor sadness, acceptance, peace, and love without attachment.

The experience included: Special Knowledge

Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe It was like I was part of a big computer with files on it that could explain everything and all I had to do was look, but knowing this, I had no need to look. The universal order is love and peace. Our current experiences are dependent upon our prior reactions to our prior experiences, and our future experiences are dependent upon our current manifestations, but housing all this is the love-energy that is the basis for life. This love-energy is not harmed or helped by anything material. I can't see a purpose other than loving and trying to ease the suffering of others - and I have spent many, many years trying to work that one out - wondering why I didn't look around more while I was there, instead of trying to figure it all out now (when it is obscured by me).

Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control It seems there might not have been enough of consequence to review, as I was still a child [16 years old] - though I would never have accepted that at the time. I understood what I would now call karma - the effects of our body, speech, and mind are what we experience but there was no formal review. It would not surprise me at all if there is a review next time though.

Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future I felt that I easily could have known anything that I wanted to. On one occasion prior to, and a few times since, I have had dream experiences that were distinctive from regular dreams and related to future, or concurring, traumatic events.

The experience included: Boundary

Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes I had to choose to return or go on and was limited by that choice.

God, Spiritual and Religion:

What was your religion prior to your experience? Liberal non-practicing catholic

Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes It has been a slow and long process to understand. I spent a great many years keeping myself too busy to really process it, but the fundamental core knowing has always stayed with me - that loving and helping others is all that matters. Now that I am no longer trying to separate life from the experience, and now that I have a framework in which to focus upon it, I have been able to work towards having an authentic life that recognizes and accepts the reality of what I experienced. It has certainly left me primed to accept things that make sense in this context and know that they are right.

After the NDE:

Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain I am far more sensitive and I am forever changed. I was, and am, nothing special.

Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? There is no worst part - well, it hurt and it was unpleasant once I was back, but the peace I feel was more than worth it.

Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes My husband, a few people, a Buddhist book discussion, and a Lama. Their reactions are supportive and open. I have benefited immensely from putting the experience into words and a question opened up a huge understanding on one occasion (about the moment of separation of my consciousness back into "my all” opposed to "all". But I am just beginning to open up.

At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Parts or similarities have been experienced many times, in many circumstances, but nothing so unencumbered.

Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? I am still understanding my experience and know that I will continue to explore it - if I knew what to ask I would ask it, but I appreciate your work and will help in any way that I can.